20 January/February 2014 | BethesdaMagazine.com
In this, our eighth annual “Best of Bethesda”
issue, we name winners in 86 categories— 22 from our
editors and 64 from our readers. To have some fun, I
thought I would use this space to name some “Worst
ofs,” too. Here are my picks:
Worst Start to a Political Campaign
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler of Bethesda
has lots of competition in his quest to become governor. But in the category “Worst Start to a Political Campaign,” he is unopposed. Within six weeks
of Gansler’s campaign kickoff last fall, his state police
drivers claimed that on numerous occasions he forced
them to run red lights, drive over the speed limit and
use the siren to clear traffic. A few weeks later, the
news broke that Gansler had been at a Beach Week
party last spring where there was underage drinking—
and that he did nothing to break it up. The only good
news Gansler has received would normally be considered bad news at this point in a campaign: A poll this
past fall showed that more than a third of Democratic
voters didn’t know who he was.
Worst Timing for the Opening
of a New Restaurant
Winter is never a good time to open a restaurant, especially if the signature feature is an outdoor roof deck.
That’s exactly what happened with the highly anticipated Roof Bethesda, which was set to open in December at the corner of Norfolk and Cordell avenues. No
doubt the inevitable construction and permitting
delays pushed back the opening. On the brighter side,
the anticipation of enjoying Roof in warmer weather
may help us through the cold, dark days of winter.
Worst Career Move
In one way, I admire John Delaney’s decision to run
for Congress. After a business career in which he made
tens of millions of dollars, Delaney wanted to give
back and help solve the problems the country faces.
But at the same time, I wonder what on earth he was
thinking. When he was elected in 2012, the Potomac
resident became a freshman member of the minority
party in the U.S. House of Representatives—a position
that has virtually no power or influence, especially in
these hyper-partisan times. Worse, he joined a body
that as of late fall had an approval rating of 9 percent.
Montgomery County and Maryland are progressive in so
many ways—but not when it comes to liquor sales. The
county controls the distribution and price of all alcohol,
which means that liquor stores and restaurants—and
ultimately consumers—have a limited selection and pay
higher prices than they would in an open market. Meanwhile, the state prohibits chain stores (Giant, CVS, etc.)
from selling beer, wine and spirits—again, giving consumers fewer choices and forcing them to pay more.
I know the arguments for the laws: Liquor sales contribute nearly $30 million a year to the county’s general
fund, and the state law protects independent retailers.
But for the good of consumers, much of the country has
privatized spirit sales. How much longer can Montgomery County and the state of Maryland hold out?
Worst Decision by the
President of a Business
This isn’t a “Worst Award” that I would give, but I’m
pretty sure our staff would. When I signed a new lease
for our Woodmont Triangle offices two years ago, I was
well aware that a 17-story luxury apartment building
was going to be constructed next door, but conveniently
chose to ignore it. Now that construction has started,
the noise and shaking are frequent. A recent visitor who
was participating in a meeting in our conference room
asked, after a particularly violent jolt, if we were having
another earthquake. The contractor is doing a good job,
I believe, minimizing the disruption and informing us
when things are going to get bad, but as Charlie Maier,
the project’s public relations person, told me, “You’ve
got to break some eggs to make an omelet.” I think the
Bethesda Magazine staff is getting sick of omelets.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Bethesda Magazine.
Please send me an email with your comments and suggestions at email@example.com.
Editor-in-chief and publisher